On Tuesday afternoon, President Donald Trump suggested a government shutdown might be just what Washington needs.
“If we don’t change it, let’s have a shutdown,” said Trump, referring to his push to overhaul the country’s immigration laws. “We’ll do a shutdown and it’s worth it for our country. I’d love to see a shutdown if we don’t get this stuff taken care of.”
“I’d love to see a shutdown.” So, there it is.
Trump might get his wish as soon as Thursday if the House and Senate can’t agree on any sort of funding package to keep the lights on. (For more on the chances of a shutdown, scroll down.)
Why would the President of the United States want the government to shut down? Easy! Here are three simple reasons:
1. He “won” last time:
When the government shut down — for three days — last month, the conventional wisdom coming out of it was that Senate Democrats had caved. In the zero-sum world of Trump, he is ahead 1-0 on Democrats when it comes to shutdowns. Why not do it again?
2. “Art of the Deal”:
One of the key principles of Trump’s ode to deal-making is that you have to drive a hard bargain — and be willing to walk away if you don’t get it. Even if that means shutting down the government, it’s the price of getting the deal you want.
3. Trump is the wild card:
Trump thinks of himself as the free radical in the political system, the actor willing to say and do stuff no one else will do. By doing the unexpected, he can get results way beyond what anyone expects. WILD CARD!!!
The Point: With Trump, the simplest explanation is almost always the right one. Winning is good. Not winning is bad. He thinks he can win another shutdown showdown. So he wants it. The end.